iBB Podcast #17.1 – Dimitris Koutsipetsidis – Coming to Bookbinding via Linguistics & Leatherworking

Our guest is Dimitris Koutsipetsidis, a bookbinder and toolmaker from Athens, Greece. In the first part of our talk, we discuss his early career and the chain of events that lead him to become a bookbinder.



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Tools made by Dimitris:

00:00 – Beginning
00:53 – Early career and decision to start making books and bookbinding tools
02:58 – Starting with leatherworking
05:04 – The first bookbinding project
06:07 – How much time did pass before Dimitris felt he had a new profession?
09:40 – Making books while having a solid background in linguistics
11:34 – What about any background in arts? Family collaborations
14:38 – Exploring the Byzantine tradition of decorating bindings
17:11 – Incorporating metal elements in bindings
18:27 – Having or not having your personal style
21:48 – Let’s talk about clients and interacting with them
25:27 – The most unusual request from a client
26:28 – The pressure of the Byzantine tradition
36:38 – Teaching bookbinding during Covid-19 pandemic
41:55 – Being overwhelmed with orders during the lockdowns
46:42 – Is there a bookbinders’ guild in Greece?
49:26 – What is a typical bookbinding enterprise in Greece?
50:56 – Apprentices and guild members
55:28 – Large trade binderies
1:00:06 – Being an artisan in a global market and globalized world

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